A Cowboy Returns
Harlequin Blaze, Jul 21 2015, $5.50
Failing to attend his father’s funeral, at the request of his brother Tyson claiming issues in settling the estate, Austin lawyer Eli Covington returns to Tucumcari, New Mexico for the first time in almost a decade and a half. The tiny plane, cattle on the dirt runway, and poor cell service reminds him he does not belong on a ranch because in his mind beef is something you eat not raise a herd.
Making matters worse is the first person he sees is bitter (at him) veterinarian Reagan Armstrong, the woman he left behind when he became “Esquire”. Though they are unable to resist a passionate kiss, she reminds him his younger siblings Cade and Tyson need him; besides which to his chagrin her name is Dr. Reagan Matthews. When he runs into Cade, he finds his middle brother even angrier than Reagan, demonstrating his ire with a fist. Though he wants to leave immediately, Eli tries to do the right thing; but fumbles his return engagement with Reagan, his brothers and the neighbors.
The first Covington brother Wild Western Heat is an engaging second and third chance at love starring a fish out of water (mindful of Andrew Bird’s WWI song “How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen” Austin) and the vet who owns his heart. Whereas the ranch romance and family drama entertain readers, the overused theme seems too predictable.